(20 August 1881 - 5 August 1959 / Birmingham / England)

The Joys We Miss

There never comes a lonely day but that we miss the laughing ways
Of those who used to walk with us through all our happy yesterdays.
We seldom miss the earthly great—the famous men that life has known—
But, as the years go racing by, we miss the friends we used to own.

The chair wherein he used to sit recalls the kindly father true
For, Oh, so filled with fun he was, and, Oh, so very much he knew!
And as we face the problems grave with which the years of life are filled.
We miss the hand which guided us and miss the voice forever stilled.

We little guessed how much he did to smooth our pathway day by day,
How much of joy he brought to us, how much of care he brushed away;
But now that we must tread alone the thorough-fare of life, we find
How many burdens we were spared by him who was so brave and kind.

Death robs the living, not the dead—they sweetly sleep whose tasks are done;
But we are weaker than before who still must live and labor on.
For when come care and grief to us, and heavy burdens bring us woe,
We miss the smiling, helpful friends on whom we leaned long years ago.

We miss the happy, tender ways of those who brought us mirth and cheer;
We never gather round the hearth but that we wish our friends were near;
For peace is born of simple things—a kindly word, a goodnight kiss,
The prattle of a babe, and love—these are the vanished joys we miss.

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